Arthur Worrall Bragg AO
Featured Image: Arthur and Dordie Bragg attending the STC Golden Slipper Race Race Meeting at Rosehill on Saturday 8th April 2006; They were a great team at the helm of the RAS of NSW
I have written about my very good friend Arthur Worrall ‘Joe’ Bragg before. I concealed it in ‘Lizard Strike’ earlier in this ‘Blog’!
It escaped the notice of most when Arthur Worrall Bragg was awarded the Officer of the Order of Australia Award (AO) “for distinguished service of a high degree to Australia or humanity at large”. Even Dr Google flew under the radar with only one strike. The Northern Daily Leader on January 25th 2002 at 9:58AM under the headline “Done us proud” reported; ‘Two citizens from Aberdeen in the Upper Hunter well known in the north to receive Australia Day Honours are Arthur Worrall Bragg (AO) and Theresa Louise O’Brien (OAM)’. The award recognised Arthur’s massive contribution to Agriculture extending from his home property at ‘Rossgole’, Aberdeen to the Royal Agricultural Society of NSW.
The highly prestigious award was richly deserved. I know this because ‘I was there’; to a very small degree. Arthur had been intimately involved with the Royal Agricultural Association of New South Wales (RAS of NSW) for several decades; firstly as a Steward, then Councillor, Ring Master and ultimately as President. It fell to his lot to oversee the transfer of the Sydney Royal Easter Show from Moore Park to Homebush Bay. Fortuitously the Sydney Olympics 2000 came along. It was a modern day miracle that the first Royal Easter Show of the modern era was held at the new showground Sydney Olympic Park at Easter 1998. RES 1997 was held at Moore Park. In 364 days (one day less than a year) the whole site was constructed on time and within time. The budget was $400 million; equivalent to more than $1 million per day. Many architectural aficionados said it couldn’t be done. One pragmatic engineer (Geoff White) said it could. Arthur was at the helm of the RAS of NSW. Not a cent was wasted.
The Show was the dress rehearsal for the Olympics. The logistics of moving hundreds of thousands of patrons into and out of the venue(s) was the massive challenge. It worked. It’s now history that Sydney promoted the ‘best Olympics of the modern era’. Even Juan Antonio Samaranch agreed. The Royal Easter Show ‘keeps on keeping on’ and will celebrate 200 years in 2022.